The Israeli military is preparing to stop the pro-Palestinian flotilla from reaching Gaza, according to reports from Israeli sources. On the flotilla boats are parliamentarians and diplomats from all over the world, including an Israeli Arab MK law-maker. [Photo credit: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit/Channel 2 News]
By Omri Ariel, JerusalemOnLine (a pro-Israeli newsletter), 21 June 2015
The IDF [Israeli Defense Force] has officially been instructed to stop the pro-Palestinian flotilla, which according to reports has sailed out and is now between Italy and Greece, headed towards the Gaza shores. It consists of two small vessels carrying pro-Palestinian activists from various countries, and which do not seem to have a large enough capacity for much humanitarian or medical equipment.
Earlier on Sunday, MK Basel Ghattas of the Joint Arab List announced his participation in the flotilla and called it “a civilian boat of peace,” adding that “trying to reach Gaza through international waters does not count as being aggressive to anyone. Aggressiveness is to impose a blockade.” MK Sharon Gal of Yisrael Beitenu stated in response that this is “further proof that the Joint Arab List is a fifth column.” He added that MK Ghattas is “an extremist who hates Israel and intends to join the next ship of terror, which is similar to the one his party member Zoabi had attended.”
On Saturday, Russian news agency RT reported that at least three ships have already sailed out from several Mediterranean Sea ports. The list of participants has been kept secret, but reportedly it is known that among the activists is a former Tunisian president, as well as athletes, parliamentarians, diplomats, journalists and a Catholic nun.
RT‘s journalist Nadezhda Kevorkova interviewed the participants and heard about their fears of a violent clash with the IDF forces, as well as their suspicions of possibly having a “mole” among them.
Dror Feiler, 63, a well-known Swedish musician of Israeli origin, is among the activists. He was born in Israel, served in the army and immigrated to Sweden 40 years ago. His mother still lives in Israel, but he has been denied entrance to the country. “It is possible that we won’t reach Gaza,” he told Kevorkona, “but we will reach many hearts that will beat together with Gaza